When they give you three things to do, you can make meaningful, measurable progress. You can have an impact. You can make things better. You can leave work satisfied every day, saying, "I made a difference."
When they give you twenty-eight things to do, no matter how faithfully you chip away at the pile, you can't make meaningful, measurable progress. Progress requires focus, and focusing on one thing long enough to make a difference means twenty-seven things don't move at all. As a result, no matter how much work you do, you never feel you've made things better. Satisfaction fades, and every day becomes an exercise in futility.
Once they realize you're good, they'll give you more and more to do.
Staying good, though, requires three things:
- Knowing what you're passionate about.
- Doing that.
- Being bold enough to admit when your plate is full.
Any other approach is a sure-fire formula for burn-out.